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    A quick look into Patriotism


    Today is the Fourth of July, and a day to celebrate the birthing of this nation. Through many of this county's difficult times, many of them were reflected in the propaganda poster art during World War II. Obviously we all know Rosie and Riveter and Buy War Bonds poster, and an art project has taken up roots to try and make battling climate change and other environmental issues being the new rallying cry for Americans. Green Patriot Posters is an off-shoot of The Canary Project, which is a non-profit organization, that focuses on using art and media to help bring awareness to climate change. Green Patriot Posters encourages people to make their own pseudo-World War II era posters to become rallying cries for the 21st century.

    Taken directly from their website:

    During World War II the United States was able to mobilize industry and motivate its citizens in breathtaking speed. Factories were overhauled and consumption habits transformed. Strong, graphically compelling posters played a crucial role in the success of this campaign.

    These posters presented the actions of individual citizens as vital for the nation and portrayed those who took part as attractive, dynamic American heroes.

    Today a similar mobilization is required to address the crisis of global climate change and achieve energy independence. That’s why The Canary Project and its partners have launched Green Patriot Posters.

    Green Patriot Posters is a communications campaign centered on posters that encourage all U.S. citizens to build a sustainable economy. These posters can be general (“We Can Do It!”) or can promote a specific sustainability action.

    These posters look pretty slick, and it's a pretty cool thing to try and get people involved, and remind us the sacrifices that our previous generations had to make during times of strife. Something that should be reflected on this 4th of July.



    ---Justin J. Stewart


    Something has to be said, so I'll make it year later

    On year ago one of the most tragic environmental travesties started to set in motion in the Gulf of Mexico. For months we watched as the Deepwater Horizon Oil Platform spewed millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. After numerous failed attempts, the leak was eventually stopped, but the damage had been done.

    For much of the public, this is where the story ended. There were months of outrage against BP and the Administration, the past Administration, and pretty much anyone else that had some sort of part in this whole mess. We saw live congressional hearings that taught us nothing, and saw pictures of oiled birds, dead dolphins, and oi balls on beaches. But then something amazing happened, the oil well was plugged, and the problem seemed to go away in the media and in the American conscious.

    Please realize, that the problem is not gone. This post isn't to be a political rant or finger pointing, because that is not the spirit of this blog. Yet, on this day and the following months, please think aboutt the energy that you consume. How can you help us get off of oil, what can you do to tell elected officials what you think, how can you lower your own personal home oil and energy consumption. It is really easy to sit back and say the politicians aren't doing anything, but we can always look at our own products we have in our house, how we drive our car, if we drive our car, how much energy do we use at home, all of this adds up. If we can think about that today, and the coming months, we can make a difference, without the politicians, and each little step is at least a step, and many little steps can walk hundreds of miles.

    ---Justin J. Stewart


    The Return of Meatless Mondays...the sizzling edition!

    It has been a long while since we have delved into the word of Meatless Mondays, but from this point on it will be continued, and hopefully even be posted earlier than today so people can try their own versions of the recipes as well. I am also always looking for visitor suggestions and their own photos of recipes, so let me know.

    With Spring upon us, and with summer coming up, a lot of people have started breaking out the grill and started summer BBQing. This is usually a meatavore's dream. Time to put raw meat directly in fire and watch it cook. Well, this is usually a problem for vegetarians and vegans. The problem is the whole meat part. Well, I am here to tell you, that many of you already probably know, that grilling veggies on the grill is just as delicious as meat! Well, wonder if you still want a meat type taste. I love grilled veggies, do not get me wrong, but some people (especially new vegetarians, or people that don't want to be left out of the family BBQ) just want something that resembles meat even if it is not.

    Well, that is where my experiment a few weeks ago was all about. I had just started grilling, and I thought to myself, how are the so-called "veggie burgers" and "tufo-dogs". I had never had them. I think I have had bocca burgers back in the day (like fifteen years ago), but I feel that healthy eating and vegetarianism and veganism has really stepped up in the last decade or so. So I journeyed to the local store to see what I could find and try them out.

    Yves and Gardenburger!I bought two things: Yves Veggie Cuisine Jumbo Dogs and Gardenburger Portabella Veggie burgers. First off let me mention how many different choices there were now in just the "healthy" food section of vegetarian options there were at my Krogers. I was very impressed and surprised to be honest. Regardless, these are the options that I picked, and I was going to grill them up and see how they were.

    Both items grilled up very similary to how the real things would grill. One of the Jumbo Dogs broke off a piece and that was a small bummer, but over all they grilled exactly how real hamburgers and hot dogs would grill.

    On the grill!Once they came off of the grill, I let them cool, and then prepared them as I would normal hot dogs and hamburgers. On buns with my choices of cheese and condiments. I first tried the Portabella Veggie Burger from Gardenburger, and was honesty surprised with how good it was. My only slight complaint was that it was really thin (as I am used to thick burgers). The portabella taste was really great, and I even enjoyed the pieces of spinach circulating through out the patties. I was pleasantly surprised.

    Now, on to try the Jumbo Dogs. The taste was pretty much the taste of a hot dog, even though it wasn't the taste of a superior hot dog. About half way through, I realized what wasn't sitting well with was the texture. It just didn't have the same texture as a hot dog, it was more powdery and crumbly, which in the end kinda grossed me out. I did end up eating them through out the week to finish them up (I hate wasting food), but near the end of the week I was pretty glad that I didn't have to eat anymore of the Yves Jumbo Dogs.

    Even though the experiement was about a 50% success, I wouldn't be opposed to trying a different brand of veggie friendly hot dogs, and even some different brands of veggie burgers, even though I liked these pretty well.

    Over all I do think that the burgers at least should make any vegetarian BBQ a great experience, even though sometimes you just can't beat straight up grilled veggies (I did grill Eggplant last year, and it was amazing). This is something I continue to be playing around with all summer.

    What else do you guys and gals grill out there?! Let me know, take some picutres, and send me a review, always looking for different options!

    The finished product!

    ---Justin J. Stewart


    SRP Slays Energy Vampires

    The SRP (Salt River Project), who delivers power to the Phoenix-Metro region has posted a website of simple things that you can do right away to combat Energy Vampires. They are well known energy vampires and ones that everyone should be fighting against in their home, because they are simple fixes, many which have been talked about before on this site. Something very cool though, is a energy vampire calculator that tells you just how much energy and its cost is being drained from your home. Well worth the visit to hear there advice and plug some numbers into the calculator!

    Energy Vampires link on SRPNet


    ---Justin J. Stewart (link provided by Katie Ray)


    Fun in the Sun

    Sometimes we want to take conservation very serious, because to be truthful, it is a serious matter. There is a lot at stake for our future and our childrens' future to want to reduce energy consumption. Sometimes though, something comes along that is just fun! Here is one of those things! The good people over at TreeHugger.Com compiled a list of unexpected and fun things that use solar power. I just wanted to share that list with you, because I found it interesting, and it brightened my day! Who know you could solar power a bee hive! Here ya go!

    Link of fun in the sun HERE!

    ---Justin J. Stewart